Picking Up the Shield in Falcon and the Winter Soldier


The opinions/views expressed in the following are held by the individual author and do not reflect the opinions/views of the Greyhound Growl Student Newspaper or Lyman High School as a whole.

Airing two weeks after WandaVision’s final episode, Falcon and the Winter Soldier focuses on Captain America’s best friends filling his shoes after the events of Avengers: Endgame. This is the second Marvel show to come to Disney Plus and will follow the same release schedule as WandaVision, releasing one episode a week.

While fans were excited about its release, recent trailers weren’t giving many fans much excitement. While they showed action and plot, it just seemed to be a little boring and bizarre. Returning villain Baron Zemo was advertised for the show, but that marvel flair wasn’t anywhere in these trailers. This made fans a bit skeptical when considering that the show maybe wouldn’t be all that they expected.

This first episode opens with Falcon saving a doctor from an aircraft taken over by Hydra specialists. This fast and intense action scene is refreshing to watch after the more slow, story-based WandaVision. We learn from this beginning scene that this enemy force is way too big for Falcon to fight on his own.

Bucky Barnes, formally known as the Winter Soldier, is hiding from the world and trying to rediscover himself. Living in Brooklyn, New York we see his day-to-day life, as well as the memories past that haunt his dreams. We get to watch a nightmare sequence of one of the assassination missions he was sent on when being controlled by Hydra. He goes to therapy frequently to help ease his troubled mind and give the audience more background of what he goes through. It is interesting to see Bucky have more human struggles, in the past his character only served as a plot point for Captain America’s story.

Falcon has some rediscovering to do as well. The world expects him to be the next Captain America, yet he feels that he isn’t ready to pick up that mantle. Sam goes back home to his family where we get introduced to his sister, Sarah. She runs a seafood family business out on the docks, passed down to her before their father passed away. Seeing this family interact adds a bit more layers to Sam and shows the struggle it takes to be the Falcon.

Next, there is a bank robbery in Switzerland where we get introduced to a new villain for the series. While we don’t get to see the face of this man, we see that he has some sort of super-strength. Many mysteries surround who may be under the mask, but fans are excited to see him face off against our two protagonists.

In the final scene in the episode, we see the government nominating a new Captain America, known as the U.S. Agent in the comics. In Marvel comics, he was known for being a rival to Captain America. Despite the two’s differences, U.S. Agent was able to start an anti-terrorism group and take down enemies in the comics. 

Where WandaVision’s first episode lacked, Falcon and the Winter Soldier did better with more engaging action and less confusing storylines. However, both of these episodes suffered from being a bit slow and boring, to say the least. While this first episode was meant to set up bigger plot points for the future, it didn’t leave many fans with much anticipation. Hopefully, the rest of the season can show why Falcon and the Winter Soldier deserve to fly alongside other Marvel media.